Monday, June 30, 2014

Love to Lace

I  belong to a bobbin lace guild, East Tennessee Lace Guild. Every year or two we have a teacher come to inspire and teach us new lace patterns. For quite a few years now we've been having Louise Colgan fly in from California to teach us Milanese Lace.  She's the one in the front left of the picture. It really is a blast altho looking at the pillows, you'd think we hadn't gotten much done. Lace is slow, very meticulous but it is so neat to see the pattern develop as you flip the bobbins.
Here's the group that was there this time. Since we didn't have anyone to take the pictures, I did. Most of us have known each other for years but we're always glad when someone new comes to join us and discover the fun of making lace.
 The class was for 3 days. Mary could only stay 2 days but she got her thistle done. She's wanted to make it for several years now but we hadn't been able to get the project included in the choices until this year. She got finished in time to leave the next morning on her summer vacation with family. I thought I didn't like the thistle, but it sure is growing on me! Wouldn't it be cute in a little frame? After I took the picture, she took the middle 2 beads out and re did it. I'm not sure she put any beads in the center of the flower the second time around. Either way, it's cute.
 Melissa hasn't done alot of lace and this was her first try at Milanese. The first project one does in Milanese with Louise is the moon. I did it and got mine framed. Hers looks just as wonderful and I hope she frames it as well!
 Doesn't look like Erin did much, does it? Well, this is an advanced pattern and more complicated than she even thought it was. When you do lace, you often go straight down and then do another panel next to it, straight down. Where the lace meets, you have to do a sewing. I'm not good at sewing yet but Erin is. Look at that face. She did the hair first. Then you'd think you could just do the face quickly. Wrong. The face is done in 2 parts so you have to sew all along on both sides of the center of the face. Sewing means you take a tiny crochet hook, put it through the lace that's there in a very specific spot, then pull the thread from the bobbin that's supposed to be sewn in and pull it back up through the hole, then put the other bobbin through the loop to make the join. Sounds simple but the holes are tiny, the crochet hook not always cooperative and you see how it can go! I broke my little hook trying to make a sewing the second day of class!
 Most of us were making teapots. That's 3 days worth of hard work. I just have the top of the lid and the center to do, still many hours of work. I hope to get it done in short order though. We've asked Louise to come back next year. She's got a cup and saucer that would fit nicely with this teapot... I find myself getting more confident with each project that we do. I'm not ready for the angel. Not sure I ever will be but understand what's going on in that pattern and maybe that's good enough.
I think I'll stick to my teapot for now. Altho, she does have a very pretty tulip that she designed recently and after the cup and saucer I'll need another project if we bring her back again.....

On the home front, I'm finishing all the steps to getting my woven pieces ready to sell. There's alot left to do with them and step by step I'm getting them done.
Until next week, keep weaving! On the loom or on the lace pillow, it's all weaving!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Joy Ride!

These last few weeks have really been packed full of things, weddings, funerals, camping trips and grand babies.  It was so crazy last week, I just couldn't post!  Today the last of the out of town grandkids have started their return trip home, so life should settle down now, at least for a little while!

In the evenings, and while we were camping,  I have been slowly plugging away at the Featherweight Cardigan, at the same time learning the new to me technique of Lever or Irish Cottage knitting.  I have a knuckle on my right hand that just won't put up with my usual Continental style any longer, so I am listening for once.

Since you last saw it, I have finished to sleeves and now I am working on the "button band", but there will be no buttons or buttonholes.  I have about another 1/2 inch to do before the final bind off.  I can't believe that I started this Cardigan only a month or so ago!

 There are approximately 250 stitches on that set of 14 inch straights.  If it was anything else besides lace wt, I would not have been able to fit them all on, and I have decided, or my hand has decided that circular needles are the pits.

I went looking for other ways to knit in the round, and I came across something called a Knitting belt or a Maakin, that you use with really long double pointed needles.  I have one coming my way in the post this very minute and you can be sure I will post an update, probably in my Farmstead Studio blog, since I have really been neglecting it of late.

Other happenings:

I complained recently  to my daughter that I was down to my last pair of earrings.  She asked me where they had all gone, and I really couldn't answer her.  I went home and dumped out the box to take a look.  What I found was that I had several pairs of earrings, but that they all needed new hooks.  Some had hooks that were too small, and others had hooks that bothered my ears.  I also had a necklace that needed a jump ring repair.

I went to Joanne's and found the parts and pieces that I needed, I went home and I fixed almost all of them!  What I then discovered is that it is hard to find earrings when they are lumped together in a box. I went to the local Habitat store in search of something to use as an earring stand.  I found a really old fashioned iron that you put the coal in the hopper, but I figured that might not feel good to touch all the time, it was a little rusty. (but I may go back and get it anyway, it was so cool!) I then looked at some pottery stuff that might have worked, and that led down the aisle to drinking glasses.  I then remembered that I have some wine glasses at home in the cabinet that I thought would easily do the trick.

I was right!  I think I have about 8 pairs of earrings on this glass alone, and I can fit more if I want to.  I usually hang the necklaces off the side of my mirror, and that keeps them from being a tangled mess.  I have a couple more  earrings that I need to find the mates to, and I will really be in good shape.

Then today…….

I called my MIL this morning to see if she wanted to go for a ride.  She said that if I asked her to stand on her head, she would do it as long as she could do it with me!  I picked her up an hour later, and I whisked her away to the Smoky Mountains!  We toured the park a bit, we stopped by the stream and just listened to it as it flowed by, and we marveled at the rhodedendrons still in bloom all along the road.  I took her to the camp ground that we love to use, and showed her Dear Ones favorite swimming hole.  She loved it!  (When she was still driving, she often took herself off to the mountains.)

After the campgrounds, we took the turn in the road to Gatlinburg, a touristy town in the Smokies, then we went to Pigeon Forge that was packed with people shopping and amusing themselves.  We were not there to shop though, we were headed to her favorite place to eat in the Smokies, the Apple Barn.
We ended up finding a parking place by the Applewood Grill, so we went there instead.  They are run by the same people, and have the same ambiance.

While we were waiting for our lunch, they brought us hot apple fritters and cold thick apple butter, to tide us over.  YUM!  I ordered a BLT with fries.  It so happens that it comes with a bowl of soup, and that is exactly what she wanted.  So, for the price of one meal we ate like royalty!

After lunch we headed back into the mountains to take the pretty way home. Rain was threatening the whole way home, but it held off until after I had taken her home, and made it safely home myself.

Tired but happy, I think I could use a quiet day tomorrow!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Young Ones

  She's a local little Daisy from the Museum of Appalachia!

  You can read about her on Facebook at the Museum of Appalachia page (and watch her cute little video.)  She was upstairs in the office when I went in for lunch I didn't get to see her.  It won't be much longer 'til she's out for everyone to see.


These guys were making the rounds today!

Momma peafowl was showing off her little chicks to the delight of all the visitors.  All the peacocks were strutting around taking the credit for these small wonders.

All the while, I was busy with the first rug for this year in the Loom House.

Brianna and Will stopped by and helped out throwing the shuttle.  You just never know if you have met a weaver-in-the-making.

  There was even a couple from England, and we had a lively discussion!  They were really enjoying their visit to the Museum.
  I got 24 inches woven on this rug today, and I'll need to get some more blue jean strips ready to finish it.  The next weaving day for me is the 4th of July----Anvil Shoot!!!!!  That's always so much fun.  (After reading Tom Knisely's book, I cut these strips one inch wide.  They are packing in very nicely!)

  Right before I was ready to leave, I heard  a big Baaaaaaaaa coming from the field in front of the cabin.  Here came one of the Spring lambs calling to the flock.  It doesn't seem like that long ago that he was the same size as Daisy. 
  They sure do grow up too quickly.

Happy Weaving!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

No Time to Weave

 This weekend, I promised myself I'd sew some nightgowns.  I rearranged the sewing room to get the NordicTrack Ann gave me out of the middle of the room, and the sewing machine with a pleasant view.  But don't you know, that pleasant view was of the vegetable garden, and the yard beyond, and I just couldn't stay inside.
  I found some Crimson Pygmy Barberries in the Near-Death plant rack at Lowe's which turned out to be half the already low, low price, and they were perfect for the scar left behind by KUB a couple of years ago.  I also got a Mountain Laurel to keep my 3-year-old Laurel company, since it seems to be so slow growing.
  And then, the flower bed and vegetable garden needed weeding.  A moving van parked in the middle of the sidewalk garden last week, and the crushed Black Eyed Susans needed attention.  Why?  Why would someone park a moving van in the middle of what is obviously a bed of flowers? And for whom?  None of my immediate neighbors is moving!  Some things are just unanswerable.  Lucky for the driver of the van, I was in the shower when it happened.  My neighbor reported it after the fact.
  I have harvested my first red tomato today, and head-on, it's gorgeous.  Alas, turn it over, and it has some ugliness.  But I will eat it with my beef curry for dinner, with a side of quickly sauteed okra.  Look, LouAnn!  I'm eating my okra!  But if you want any, stop on by at any time!  I will be glad to give you some!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Lot Of Fiber

  Yes....Karin's totebag just sums it up:
A Weaver's Diet:
A little wine, a lot of fiber!

And, it happened again today....there was a large donation on the tables when we arrived at the Center.  This looked to be a quilter's stash with several quilt tops included.  Some of the blocks looked like flour sack fabric had been used.   You don't get to see a lot of that now days!

  Many of our travelers were back, and they got right to work on their projects at the looms.  Placemats, rugs and towels are on the agenda at these looms.

  Ms. Ila was feeling better, and able to be with us today.  Of course she got right to work on her scarf warp.
  Sharen took advantage of one of the rare times the warping board was not being used, and got a warp wound for herself.
  She wove this poncho using some her hand dyed bamboo.  

On the left is the towel warp that Cindy wound on the Baby Wolf before she left.  I was able to get a couple of inches of it threaded today.

  Pat and Carl kept the old looms working on schedule.  

  Madeline is learning to do hemstitching with Carol.  She has bought her first floor loom, and is already planning LOTS of projects.

   Pat brought the throw she wove at home for the group to see.  She had a grand time just playing with the overshot treadling.  This is a cotton warp with Harrisburg wool for the pattern.

Bonnie wove her hand dyed bamboo scarf and added some bling to the fringes. 

   Linda's cloth beam was getting really full, so she wove in some sticks and cut off the warp on the rug loom.

  There were 10 rugs wound up on that beam!!!

  She and Carol got out the serger to finish the edges so they can be hemmed.

  Christy had finished the warp on her Inkle loom, and today she was warping a new color-way.  
  By the way....thank you, Bonnie, for the squash and cucumbers!  (Her garden is going crazy!!!!)  Don't you just love fresh produce?

Fiber is a GOOD thing!!!!

Happy Weaving!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Bit of Glitz

A few months ago, Linda told us about a weaver that had sort of inherited the contents of a weaving shop and was selling the yarn for a good price. Well, can't pass that up. 4 of us headed toward the mountains to the home where the yarn was. We all had a good time and our stashes increased that day!!
I found some very fine, glittery yarn. It's awfully hard to capture the color but I put a white warp on and wove a top and couple of vests using the weft I normally use plus a strand of the very fine shimmery yarn. 
 The pieces look so pretty. There's just the right amount of shimmer on them to wear somewhere special.

Then I wove some pieces with this other accent yarn wound together with the white weft. This yarn you can see much more vividly and the combination of colors works nicely.
This accent yarn I could see wound with some other colors as well. I'll be planning some warps to use this accent with different colors.
The accent is very fine. It's going to take a long time to use up the cone of shimmer!!
I washed the pieces after taking it off the loom and they washed up nicely. Sometimes you get a good deal on a cone of yarn. Kind of balances out with the price we sometimes pay for a yarn we love but costs alot!

I've been weaving alot the past few weeks. The last warp is going on the loom this morning before total chaos reigns at our place. Each summer is like this. This Thursday Pierre is flying in from France and next Tuesday Yves is coming. Then we know it's officially time to get nametags done for the convention we do each summer in Nashville. I won't be weaving again til the end of July. It's a good thing that I have several projects planned for then. Coming back from the next few weeks of activities, it's good to know that something is ready for me to work on. I won't have to think about what to weave, just grab a box of yarns and start winding a warp!

On an aside, remember those kittens I wrote about a few weeks ago at my sister's house? Well, my nephew and his wife drove over from Winnipeg to pick up 2 of them this weekend. Of course we had to know which ones they picked and how they were doing driving all day. Plus, how were the 2 that stayed handling it's amazing the personalities of the little fluffballs that are growing up! The 2 that stayed were looking for the others yesterday but we were glad that they had each other to play with. My sister now has a couple of kittens that are going to be good cats for her for years to come and my nephew has as well!

So, until next week,
Keep Weaving!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Do I Really Need More Yarn????

What a silly question!
Do you even dare ask a fiber-holic if they need more yarn????

  These are the ladies in Maggie's knitting group, and they allowed a non-knitter to join them on the west leg of the 2014 Yarn Crawl.  We hit Cookeville, Crossville and Lenoir City.  It was lively conversation all the way there and back.

There was also knitting going on in the car.

Maggie snapped these pictures....but she didn't get one of her knitting on her socks!!!!!


  We got our passports stamped at each of the shops....Maggie is determined to get all her stamps.   (Me?  I've done all I'm going to do.)

  The Linsey yarn I picked up at Sandy's shop, Clinch River Yarns.  It's cotton and linen, and I'm thinking it will make a wonderful little scarf to wear this summer.  I stopped by on Tuesday after I left the Center.
  The Sunseeker and Bamboo Pop were my selections from yesterday. 
I'm noticing that there is a color theme running through my yarn choices here lately.....hummmm.

  It is so nice to see our local businesses doing so well, and events like the yarn crawl showcase these creative folks.  It also gives fiber-holics like me a chance to try some yarns I might not try otherwise.

   I'm thinking that when the temperature is in the 90's this afternoon, I might grab my hook and try that little scarf pattern. 
  But....which yarn will I pick first?????

Happy Fiber Whatever!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yarn Crawling Solo

 Yesterday, I was determined to make it to the Mountain Hollow Farm in Tazewell, to check that store off my list for the East Tennessee Yarn Crawl.  I had to weed the garden, water everything well--it was hot, hot, hot yesterday--and mow the lawn before I could go.  Check out that cute pumpkin!  I have two that big, and a few more tiny ones.  And the cucumbers are just starting to get pickle-worthy.  You know how it is, though.  One day they're too small, and the next, they're the size of a football.

Mamas and babies, shading.
I got on the road about 10:00, headed north on Broadway.  In about an hour, maybe more, I was in Tazewell.  It was a beautiful drive.  East Tennessee in the spring is just so lovely!  But when I pulled onto the road leading to the store, I saw that it said, "Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday."
Curse words flowed, but I was determined to get my Yarn Crawl passport signed.  I figured that if I saw the owner of the store, I could persuade her that I'd come too far to go away without my passport signed!

It was down a twisty dirt road, and I drove by a couple working on a fence.  I wondered if that was she?  But I kept driving, made it to the store, and knocked on the door.  No answer.   I drove back to the couple and asked if she owned the store.  When she said yes, I started to ask if she'd sign my passport, but she quickly said she'd open the store for me.
  Turns out, she wanted to be back in the air conditioning!  It was pretty hot, too hot to be putting a fence up!
Baby Cashmere!
  She gave me a quick tour of her store, and told me how she came to be out there in the relative middle of nowhere.  She raises cashmere goats, and has only products that are locally and/or responsibly made.  It's a lovely store, and I wished I'd thought to take photos inside.  Instead, I bought some of her cashmere-silk blend yarn, as well as some silk-merino from Lantern Moon.

My yarn haul from the yarn crawl.

Then, I took her back to the fence--sorry, Beth!--and headed onto Clinch River Yarn Company, making a pit stop at the AACC to say hi to the Tuesday Weavers and use the facilities.
  I bought some recycled cotton and cashmere there, and chatted with Sandy, the owner.
Today, we headed out again, with friends in tow, but I'll leave that to LouAnn to tell you about tomorrow!  Meanwhile, if you're not yarn crawling, keep weaving!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Best Wishes, Cindy!

The cake sums it up:  Best Wishes, Cindy!

Karin picked up the cake for our Potluck Lunch/Going Away Party for Cindy.  The good news is that she'll pop in from time to time.  The bad news is that we won't see her every week!!!!

  Of course, readers of this blog already know that we LOVE having a Potluck!!!
  Even though we had loads of folks gone on vacation, the variety of yummy dishes was amazing!

    We also seemed to be thinking alike:  all of the dishes were COLD.....nothing that needed heating except the sourdough bread!!!!

Oh, yes.....there was some weaving today.  Bonnie and Molly were hard at work at their looms from the get-go.

    And, you know that Carl made good use of his time at the Center!
  By the way, you can see that colorful "quilt rug" rolling around the cloth beam.  Doesn't that just make you smile???

  Ann got her baby blanket edges serged (as well as catching up with what's going on with Lanny.)

  Allan got the chance to stop by the Center and catch up on the news with Carol.   (That is one of Carol's new books that Karin is pouring over.  What fun getting to see them today!)

  Marie shared her mobius scarf that she wove while she was at the beach.  After all, you can only take so much sun and sand, right?

  Carol found this little towel in an antique store.  We all loved the use of the stripes.

  There were a bunch of visitors in the Studio today, too.  These folks also brought a donation of fabric, thread and some weaving tools that had belonged to her mother.  They had never been to Norris before, and seemed to enjoy their visit.

Jocelyn was busy planning her next project.  She had a lively discussion going with Lanny about Tartans.  I can't wait to see the project on a loom.

  Stop by the Center if you're in the area....even if it's not a Tuesday, you can mozy downstairs and see all the looms and the projects in progress.  But, if it's a Tuesday, we'll be there to greet you.

Happy Weaving!